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Avian flu epidemic 2003: public health consequences. Risk factors, health, well-being, health care needs and preventive measures during the H7N7 avian flu outbreak control in the Netherlands.
An estimated thousand people, possibly more have been infected with avian flu during the outbreak in the Netherlands in 2003. One third of the poultry farmers whose holdings were cleared reported stress reactions, fatigue and depressive symptoms.
The large spread of the virus underscores the importance of the measures to prevent poultry- to-human transmission in people handling infected poultry. The possible uncertainty, stress and anxiety associated with the avian flu control demand specific health care attention.
A total of 453 people reported with health complaints, predominantly conjunctivitis. Antibodies were found in 59% of infected poultry workers’ family members. Of the 500 tested persons who had handled infected poultry, about 50% showed an antibody respons